October 18, 2016

Luke

October 18, 2016:  St. Luke, Evangelist

See a dozen connections with today?
Legend below

Listen

For Psalm 145
Pope Francis homily
Alone, begging, abandoned, and the victim of fury, Paul heard the Lord's call!  He went all over, suffered much for preaching the Gospel, made the Apostles understand the Lord wants Gentiles in the Church, prayed and heard things nobody else had.  He waited in a small room to see whether those faithful to him, or the rigid Judaizers, would win the Church struggle.  Paul's life ends in inner desolation, not resentment or bitterness.
Peter and John the Baptist suffered similar privations towards the end of their lives; John was beheaded because of a dancer's caprice and an adulteress's revenge.  More recently, Maximilian Kolbe created an apostolic movement but died in a death camp.  When you're faithful, you can expect the same end Jesus faced, but the Lord stays close and you find strength in him.  If the wheat grain doesn’t die, it won't produce new seeds.
To die like martyrs, witnesses of Jesus, is being a grain that dies and gives rise to new seeds, filling the earth with new Christians.  Pastors who live like this aren't bitter; they may feel desolate, but they're certain the Lord is near.  Many priests who gave their lives for others and now live in retirement homes suffer but remain close to the Lord.  They smile and ask about the Church, the diocese, vocations....
"Only the Lord stayed close to me!"  If you journey along the path of Jesus, the Lord will be close to you to the end.  Pray for the shepherds at the end of their lives, waiting for the Lord to take them.  May God give them strength, consolation, and certainty that the Lord is close to them.
Read
  • 2 Tm 4:10-17b  Demas, Crescens, and Titus deserted me; only Luke is with me.  At my first defense no one appeared on my behalf; may it not be held against them!  But the Lord stood by me and gave me strength, so that through me the proclamation might be completed.
  • Ps 145:10-13, 17-18  "Your friends make known, O Lord, the glorious splendor of your Kingdom."  You are just, holy, and near, and your Kingdom endures.
  • Lk 10:1-9  Jesus appointed and sent 72 disciples:  "The harvest is abundant but laborers few; ask the harvest master to send laborers.  Go; I send you like lambs among wolves.  Carry no money bag, sack, or sandals.  Cure the sick; say, 'The Kingdom of God is at hand for you.'"
Reflect
  • Fr. Chris Bazyouros homily podcast:  We're all equally needy at the table. Who's not here yet?  Be a missionary=sent disciple; share with those starving for God.  [Today, meditate on a passage from Luke:  how do you experience mercy in it, and how can you be an instrument of mercy?]
    • Creighton:  Paul’s life story was given to us for our trying times.  In the 1st reading, he's in prison, abandoned by friends, and being harmed by Alexander.  Frustrated though he was, he left retribution to God and forgave and prayed for his friends.  In the psalms, God reminded David he was with him controlling his destiny.  King David also experienced betrayal, injustice, and persecution but kept his eyes on God.  We can see God’s help but still forget and worry.  We're called to bear fruit, knowing God placed and will guide us.  We need to stay focused upon God's presence, power, and call.  Lord, help us see the opportunities to share our faith, and give us courage to take advantage of them.
      St. Luke
    • One Bread, One Body:  "Not a doctoral dissertation":  Luke was a doctor.  Although he had a distinguished profession, he put it aside in the light of the surpassing knowledge of Christ and hardly mentions it in Luke or Acts, even when he writes about Jesus' cures.  Thank God for the blessings he's given you (abilities, education, profession, accomplishments...); be willing to use them or set them aside for Christ....
    • Passionist:  "The Kingdom of God is at hand for you":  Jesus proclaimed peace.  A sign of Jesus' presence is a community and relationships 'at peace'; then God's Kingdom is close, and we're invited to see more deeply.  There are moments we feel more in touch with God or another person.  We need to open our hearts in prayer or silence to know our God is near and acting for or with us.  Jesus is clear in his instructions to the disciples in today's gospel that they're to be bearers of peace.  When and where peace resounds, the kingdom can flourish and grow.  Not being distracted by possessions is a means to the calm needed to experience God's presence more deeply.  Jesus also speaks of behaviors that bring about healing or reflect humility, compassion, and forgiveness; they all help bring about deeper peace.  Such actions become keys to enable God's kingdom to come.  May we live by them....
    • DailyScripture.net:  "The kingdom of God has come near to you":  Jesus frequently used the image of a harvest, fruit of much labor and growth, to convey the coming of God's reign.  May we hear, accept, live, and share God's word.  Isaiah foretold a time when wolves and lambs will dwell in peace, Christ's second coming when the reign of God is fully established, but till then, we must expect opposition and persecution.  As Jesus laid down his life for us, we must be willing to offer our lives.
    Seventy was a significant number:  number of elders Moses chose, Sanhedrin members, nations (so they thought)....  Jesus commissioned the seventy to speak in his name and act with his power, instructing them to serve without guile and with charity, peace, and simplicity, proclaiming God's kingdom, not diverted by other matters.  To focus on the task, they must only take essentials and leave the rest behind. They must give freely, not expecting payment. Poverty of spirit makes room for God’s provision; the Lord wants us to be dependent on him and to work in and through us....
    • Universalis:  Luke, Evangelist, Greek doctor who converted to Christianity, companion of Paul who wrote Lk in accordance with Paul’s teaching and Acts to narrate early Church history.  He explained Jewish customs and Hebrew words to Gentile readers.
    Dress legend
    • 'Copper penny' tie bar (but only 2.5% copper):  Alexander the coppersmith (1st reading)
    • 'Crown' tie bar:  "Your friends make known your Kingdom's splendor" (psalm); say, "God's Kingdom is at hand for you" (gospel)
    • 'Phone' tie bar:  "The Lord is near to all who call on him" (psalm)
    • 'Fruits' tie: “The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few" (gospel)
    • 'Lamb' tie bar:  "I'm sending you like lambs among wolves" (gospel)
    • Sandals (not shown):  Don't carry sandals (gospel)
    • 'Peace sign' tie bar:  Say, "Peace to this household" (gospel)
    • 'Silverware' tie bar:  "Eat and drink what's offered to you" (gospel)
    • Red shirt:  Liturgical color for St. Luke feast